AN expected easing of mainland credit controls will brighten prospects for H-share companies in the coming year, the managing director of Hong Kong-based Peregrine Investments Holdings, Francis Leung, says. Mr Leung said in Beijing that recent economic data indicated inflation had fallen below the government's minimum target. At the same time, growth had slowed to a more manageable level. Inflation rose 11.4 per cent last month and 16.6 per cent for the first nine months. This was close to the 15 per cent government target. This would pave the way for a moderate relaxation of the credit controls implemented over the past 27 months and would lift earnings at H-share companies. It had been evident in the interim results of some H-share companies that they had taken a battering because of China's austerity programme. Peregrine Brokerage managing director Peter Fu said investor interest in H shares had not subsided despite the tough operating environment. 'If anything, it has sharpened investors' attention on the sector. 'International investors specialising in China are now looking for a turnaround at many of the companies,' he said.